New Year, New Outlook on the Dentist | Northridge Dentist

Oral Health

There are plenty of reasons why lots of people don’t visit the dentist. For some, it’s “dental anxiety”, a fear often caused by feelings of helplessness when sitting in the dental chair, hearing the sound of the dental drill, or both. But, as common as dental anxiety is in its various severities, even more common is the fact that some people just don’t care. The importance of regular trips to the dentist is severely undervalued these days and it’s something that needs to be changed immediately. Now that we are in a new year, why not start it off with a new outlook on the dentist?

One of the key reasons why it’s recommended to visit the dentist regularly is so that they can do a thorough dental examination of your teeth. During this initial checkup appointment, dentists will evaluate the state of your gums, perform examinations on your head and neck to check for anything out of the norm and examine your whole mouth for any signs of diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, jaw problems, periodontal disease and even oral cancer.

Dentists will then proceed to clean your teeth after examining your mouth and face, paying close attention to plaque and tartar. If left untreated, both can cause various dental problems, some of which are hard to reverse. There is also growing evidence that shows that periodontal disease is linked (and may even cause) various other systemic conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, as well as problems with pregnancy. So, visiting the dentist may not be the most exciting task you have, but doing it will avoid it becoming a painful one.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Sedation Dentistry | Northridge, Ca Dentist

hygiene-granada-hillsMany people are afraid of the dentist – the noise of the drill, and memories of pain and discomfort make it a place that many people dread. However, modern dentists are very aware that many patients are anxious, and make a concerted effort to make patients as comfortable as possible.

One popular way of dealing with dental anxiety is sedation dentistry – using medication to allow patients to relax during the procedure. Often known as sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry can be of various types and strengths, depending on the level of anxiety of the patient and the length of the procedure.

For mild anxiety and short procedures, dentists are likely to use minimal sedation, where the patient will remain awake but will be relaxed. Examples of minimal sedation include inhaled nitrous oxide – “laughing gas” – which takes effect quickly, and wears off quickly, and will allow the patient to relax.

For longer procedures, or more anxious patients, dentists may use oral sedation using pills similar to Valium, or an IV applied sedative, leaving the patient conscious, but in a state where they are unlikely to remember the procedure. The patient will likely be awake and able to answer questions during the procedure, but will be groggy during and after the procedure, and may require assistance getting home.

For serious anxiety or very involved procedures, some dentists and oral surgeons will employ deep sedation or general anesthesia, where the patient will be entirely unconscious. In the case of general anesthesia, a third party anesthesiologist may be present to monitor the patient’s health during the procedure. With deep sedation and general anesthesia, the patient will likely not be permitted to leave alone – they may require a ride at the end of the procedure.

If you’re anxious about a dental visit, talk to your dentist about sedation options. Your dentist should be happy to work with you to ensure that you can endure the procedures you need without unnecessary anxiety, and that may involve some level of sedation.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Sedation Dentistry | Northridge, Ca Dentist

Girl lying on the grassDoes the sound of a dental drill make you cringe? Does the mere thought of a filling make you imagine pain in your teeth? You’re not alone – dental phobias are quite common, but often the experience of going to a dentist isn’t nearly as unpleasant as many people imagine it to be. Modern dentists want you to visit often – frequent visits allows them to prevent or treat problems before they become serious – so they’re willing and able to help make your visits as pleasant as possible.

First, most dentists are very aware of pain, and will frequently ask you whether or not you’re comfortable. They’ll use a combination of topical local anesthetic (a quick numbing paste that will be swabbed onto your gums) and a quick injection of a similar local anesthetic, to numb deeper down. The combination of these will leave part of your mouth numb for a few hours, but you’ll feel virtually no pain during the procedure. Because pain is only one of your senses – and many people have equally strong reactions to the sound of the dental drill – dentists will often have music, earplugs, or TV to distract you from the sound of the drill. While it’s not perfect, it’s a significant improvement over dental visits of decades past.

If that’s not enough to encourage you to visit your dentist, speak to your dentist about other sedation options. Dentists have a number of options, from moderate sedation (laughing gas or valium style medication), to deep sedation (sleep dentistry), to full general anesthesia, the type you may receive if you were to undergo surgery in a hospital.

Even with moderate or deep sedation, dentists will use local anesthesia to help minimize pain in the hours following the procedure, so not only will you not see or hear the procedure, you’ll likely wake up to only minimal discomfort.

If you have a severe dental phobia and are interested in sedation dentistry options, speak to your dentist. It’s possible they may wish to perform more than a single procedure in a session, in order to get the most benefit for the increased cost and minimize the number of sedation sessions you must endure. While more advanced sedation requires more planning – you’ll often be asked not to eat prior to certain types of sedation, and you likely won’t be able to drive immediately after your procedure, dentists can accommodate even the most severe dental phobias.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.